How to Nab an Affordable Fine Watch for Dad

It might seem a long way away, but Father’s Day will be here before you know it. Are you seriously going to get him another tie, pair of socks, or something from the gas station again? This year, how about totally surprising him with a luxury watch? You don’t have to take out a second mortgage. You can buy watches for cheap by going to pawn brokers.

Why Go to a Pawn Shop?

This might be the last place you’d think of looking for a luxury watch for Dad, but, honestly, it’s the best. Why? Because no jewelry store will offer you the variety that a pawn shop will. That’s good news for you, because you’ll have a much better chance of finding the right watch for him.

Here’s another bonus of going to a pawn shop for a Father’s Day gift: You will very likely find some beautiful antique watches, too. The value of these watches will increase over time, making them a sound investment and a great gift—and, of course, don’t forget that you will pay a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Get Straight About Names and Take Your Time

First, it’s important to do your homework on some of the better watch brands. Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai, and men’s Rolex watches are just a few long-standing watch companies which were founded in the 1800s or earlier. Translation: They know their stuff.

However, they’re also pretty high-end, and you may not have that kind of cash. No problem, because Orient, Bulova, Seiko, and Movado watches are all top-quality reliable watches that you can easily snap up for usually under $100 at a pawn shop.

When you’re in the shop, it’s important to take your time. Pick up a watch and look for things like a lot of wear, which can mean a shorter watch life. You’ll also want to note if a watch looks a little too shiny, as this can also indicate other problems.

A bent crown, which is the winding wheel on the side of some watches, is never a good sign. The crystal or transparent cover of a watch should also be given the once-over for scratches and misalignment.

chronograph watch in stainless steel in black circular

Repair Service and Free Appraisal

The pawn shop you’re getting Dad’s gift from should offer you a free appraisal on the watch you’re buying, and that includes papers. You should also have the option to return the watch if you take it somewhere else to be appraised and the info doesn’t match. If the watch needs some kind of repair, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they offer this service on-site.

The point is that you can get Dad a great watch for cheap at a pawn shop, as long as you visit the right one. With 24 locations, GIA- and JA-certified staff and 70 years in business, GEM Pawnbrokers is the place to go for all kinds of ideas for Father’s Day. Give us a call: (718) 596-5626.

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